Dermatology/Mole Assessment and Check

Mole assessments and checks are very popular to reduce concerns about skin cancer

The term mole illustrates the growth of pigment cells which appear on the skin’s surface. Common moles are not cancerous and usually won’t cause any harm to the individual. However, moles have the potential to turn into cancerous cells.

The vast majority of skin cancers are caused by prolonged and repeated exposure to UV (ultraviolet) rays, both from natural sunlight and other sources of UV such as tanning beds. When the skin is overexposed to these UV rays, this can lead to damage in the DNA of our skin cells. As a result of this damage, the cells can begin to grow out of control which therefore leads to the development of skin cancer.

There are three common types of skin cancer which can occur in the place of moles or as new moles. These are basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma.

Basal cell carcinoma is the most common form of cancer and while it is not nearly as dangerous to your overall health as melanoma is, it can lead to very extensive local tissue damage. Basal cell carcinoma can present itself in many different ways, for example as a small and shiny lump on the skin’s surface or a crusty non-healing nodule, patch or ulcer. Unlike melanoma, basal cell carcinoma does not usually spread to any other parts of the body however it is still important to treat and remove these lesions from the skin. If untreated, basal cell carcinoma has the potential to continually grow and cause destruction to a great proportion of the tissue around it. The growth rate of basal cell carcinoma however is slow and therefore usually it is easy to cure.

Squamous cell carcinoma is not as common as basal cell carcinoma and can be slightly more dangerous. Usually, these present themselves as red or skin-coloured or crusty lumps lumps on the skin’s surface. There is a very small chance that squamous cell carcinoma will spread to other parts of the body however this risk is minimal if squamous cell carcinomas is treated early.

Woman's neck

Melanoma skin cancer can present itself either as a new mole or a change to an original mole and occasionally as a skin-coloured lump. Many dermatologists refer to the ABCDEs for melanoma detection when the mole is checked. A for asymmetry – is the mole symmetrical? B for the border – are the edges of the mole an irregular shape? C for colour – is the mole an unusual colour such as blue, black, or red? D for diameter – is the mole larger than 6mm across? E for evolving – is the mole changing in colour and size? If any of these apply in terms of the mole you are concerned about it is important to have these checked out due to the dangerous nature of melanoma and the potential harm it can cause. Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer and can be extremely dangerous due to its ability to spread to other parts of the body. It is important to identify melanoma early in order to avoid any detrimental impacts to the body and avoid it spreading to other areas of the body.

Due to the possible dangerous impacts that moles can have, it is important to ensure that following any change to a mole’s appearance including shape, size and colour moles are checked and assessed to understand the potential harm that they could cause. Following the assessment, one of our expert consultants will be able to suggest the best options for your individual case.

In rare cases moles have the potential to cause detrimental harm. Due to their nature, moles can become cancerous and therefore can lead to further health problems. It is therefore very important to have your moles checked and assessed at the first moment that you notice any differences in your current moles or significant new moles/skin lesions. A regular mole check is also recommended for people who have a high number of moles. Following a mole assessment and check, one of our expert specialists will be able to advise you on the best treatment for you and your moles.

During a mole assessment and check, you will initially be asked a variety of questions about your personal concerns with your skin and your moles and also if you have any family history of skin cancer. Following this, your skin will be checked with a special instrument called dermatoscope which allows to thoroughly assess moles. Following this, your consultant will be able to provide an accurate diagnosis and provide you with a plan and to remove any moles that could be dangerous.

If you notice any changes to any current moles or new moles/lesions begin to appear it is important to ensure these are checked quickly. In the case of these being cancerous, the cells will continuously grow and therefore this can lead to extensive growth which could therefore have negative implications for your health as well as impacting a greater proportion of the body.

Procedure Overview

  • Functional procedure to check and assess moles and lesions on the skin due to their potentially cancerous nature
  • Three main types of skin cancer – melanoma, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma
  • Changes to moles often checked using the ABCDE model where A (asymmetry), B (border), C (colour), D (diameter) and E (evolving)
  • A typical mole assessment and check costs £275
  • You will have your consultation and check with an expert specialist in this area
Dermatologist applying marks onto patient's skin before moles removal, closeup

If you notice any new moles/lesions or any current moles begin to change shape, size or colour it may be necessary for you to consider a check to ensure it will not cause any danger to your health.

Anyone can get any one of the skin cancer types however some people are predisposed to skin cancer and therefore skin cancer can be said to be more common in some because of risk factors. There are a variety of risk factors associated with skin cancer. Firstly, increased or excessive exposure to UV rays will majorly increase the chances of skin cancer because these UV rays damage the DNA of our skin cells leading to rapid and uncontrolled growth and subsequently skin cancers. Also, any family history of skin cancer, specifically melanoma, can lead to an increased chance of skin cancer as well as immunosuppressive medications as these weaken the function of the immune system which leads to our cells being less able to fight off the infections which lead to cancer.

A typical mole assessment and check starts from approximately £300.

"Having had my first operation at another hospital for skin cancer which, unfortunately, did not achieve the desired results, I was referred to Dr Jack Mann at the Cancer Centre - Guys Hospital. I knew immediately I was in the capable and competent hands of a fine surgeon. He is professional but at the same time puts one at ease - he has a good bedside manner. My operation, needless to say, was successful and the reconstructive surgery on my face has healed well and overtime won't even be noticeable. My final words on Dr Jack Mann – Professional, competent, highly qualified in skin cancers, a brilliant surgeon with a caring personality."

"After sending a photo to my GP of a red mark on my face she advised me to see a dermatologist to see if it was skin cancer. I made an appointment with Dr Mann at once he made me feel calm with his manner. He assured me the mark was not cancer but I had a mole which needed removing. Dr Mann removed the mole – I was very anxious but he talked to me though the procedure. He is very professional at the same time has a caring and friendly manner. I would recommend Mr Mann 100%. So very glad I chose him from the list of dermatologist I was sent."


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